Bought 10 two years ago to replace my Barred Rock hens. They were very productive the first year; however, their production dropped to approx 50% the second year. It's been nearly five months since they molted, and only one hen is is consistently laying. I'm going back to the Barred Rocks this spring.
Pros: Quiet, docile, nice variety of colors available, distinctive look
Cons: Small eggs, heavy eater
Brahmas are working their way up to my favorite breed. They have a softer, deeper cluck and chatter than other chicken breeds, though their sneezes can be quite loud! They handle confinement well, and being handled. If you're looking for meat they get rather large, but they take a while longer and eat a lot to get there! Speaking of eating--they must not miss meals or they can get mean to the other chickens real quick! But normally they aren't aggressive, but will hold their own against bullies.
To begin with, I hand raise all my chicks so they're typically all very tame and friendly. However, Belle, my legbar, is relatively timid, but is still gentle and overall pleasant. She was my slowest to lay, even though my other chicks were two weeks (or more) behind her. She started laying recently, around 7 months. She's also not nearly as productive as my Olive Eggers, which was a little surprising to me, but she lays a gorgeous blue egg, and I'll also cut her some slack due to the weather.
Pros: Pretty girls. They are quiet, and don't cause problems with the other hens. The cold doesn't seem to bother them at all. Consistent layers once they start.
Cons: Eggs are definitely not large. I would say small to medium, but the yoke is huge compared to the size of the egg. I keep these eggs for myself, since they look pretty silly in a carton, and sell the eggs from my other layers.
Overall, I like them. They were the last to start laying at 30 weeks, but average 6 eggs each per week now. Eggs are half the size of my sex link, calico, sapphire, etc. They don't fight or act flighty, but aren't really friendly either. They come up to me, but prefer a hands off interaction.
Pros: Good egg layer, quirky personalities, gorgeous feathers and beards
Cons: Mistaken for Ameraucanas, Araucanas, etc. Also kind of flighty.
I really like my Easter Eggers (whom I thought were Ameraucanas the first few months of their lives). They have the funniest little quirks and are super floofy. One of the two has finally started laying a pretty sage-green egg every other day and loves to announce it. (She is very loud) They both are kind of flighty and love to fly the coop. Aside from the noise and flightiness, they are some of the best (and most adorable) chickens I've owned.
Cons: Temp is hard to control, it is too hot in some places, and too cold in others. For use, I recommend having a separate thermometer and finding the best spot temp-wise and only putting eggs in that spot.
Affordable and would recommend as a last choice option.
Pros: Never get broody, very good layers, self sufficient, alert, curious
Cons: A bit skittish
I have 3 white bantam leghorn hens, they are eggcellent layers and lay an egg a day! They are keen too get out of the coop in the morning and love scratching up leaf litter for bugs. They are active and curious. Not very tame though. I love how they just lay an egg and walk away immediately, such a relief compared to my silkie hens who love to get broody... silkies are so different, they aren't really alert enough to actively catch insects or explore much. Overall I would highly recommend leghorns bantams. I have an open fenced off area with lots of bushes and logs in it, I have read that they can be a bit flighty but I haven't experienced that, so don't let that put you off getting a few!
Pros: The highest-powered motor
The compact size of the Yardbird allows for efficient storage while the solid rubber wheels
The Best Chicken Plucker Machine Given the compact, sturdy and high-motor-power design, this Yardbird machine is great for anyone with a smaller number of birds to de-feather. The high-powered motor is capable of working at high speeds while still effectively removing all of the feathers on birds without damaging their bodies.